In England alone, around one in eight men suffer a common mental health problem. Yet, men are particularly reluctant to discuss this with their friends or family. Some will not even access help and support. So why is this happening?
View of Gender Roles and Societal Expectations are Causing Men to Stay Quiet
Society has a somewhat rigid view of masculinity and how men should behave. While some of these traits are positive, an over-reliance on them can impact the mental health of men. Men are less able to be open about the way they are feeling, recognise they are suffering or access vital help.
These Views are Perhaps Why so Few Men Access Mental Health Services
Overall, men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women in England. Statistics about men and mental health reveal that only 36% of males in England currently access IAPT services. The danger here is that as an alternative coping mechanism, men are turning to alcohol, smoking, or in extreme cases, even suicide. Yet, research reveals that when men are offered therapies that meet their preferences, are engaging and easy to access; they’re much more likely to use it.
What is Clear is that Things Need to Change Quickly
This is particularly important in prisons, where there are much more men than women, and mental health problems are rife. The fact that 75% of deaths in men under 50 is suicide goes to show just how serious the issue is. Furthermore, men from minority groups or middle-aged men from a more impoverished background are also at risk.